Shorten’s shadow ministry causes ‘Ripolls’

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Opposition leader Bill Shorten has demonstrated that financial services will be a high priority on the Opposition’s agenda.

Bernie Ripoll, former secretary to the Treasurer, secretary for small business – and responsible for the Ripoll Report Inquiry into Financial Products and Services in Australia – has been named as Shadow Minister for financial services and superannuation.

Chris Bowen will be Shadow Treasurer, while Shorten will take on the role of Shadow Minister for small business.

The announcement of Labor’s shadow ministry has been welcomed by the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australian (SPAA).

SPAA CEO Andrea Slattery says that the shadow ministry indicates that superannuation will be a key policy area.

“In particular, the appointment of Bernie Ripoll as Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation gives our sector a spokesperson that understands the portfolio, being well regarded for his previous work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and his parliamentary committee work.”

She says that SPAA will work closely with Ripoll “to further improve the integrity and efficiency of the superannuation sector”, and to ensure a bipartisan approach to Australia’s retirement incomes policy.

Slattery says SPAA is also heartened by the fact the Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, and Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, both have significant experience in the superannuation and financial services portfolios and will bring a keen understanding of the issues to their new roles.

FPA general manager for policy and conduct Dante De Gori says that the shadow ministry provides shows consistency from the opposition, as the individuals are all well-known to the industry.

“The FPA knows Mr. Ripoll very well and obviously the fact that he was the chair on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the inquiry into Storm, he’s obviously well-versed on financial services and the issues facing the industry. We welcome someone with that much knowledge,” says De Gori.

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